Two distinct regions of Mto1 are required for normal microtubule nucleation and efficient association with the gamma-tubulin complex in vivo.
ABSTRACT: Cytoplasmic microtubule nucleation in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe involves the interacting proteins Mto1 and Mto2, which are thought to recruit the gamma-tubulin complex (gamma-TuC) to prospective microtubule organizing centres. Mto1 contains a short amino-terminal region (CM1) that is conserved in higher eukaryotic proteins implicated in microtubule organization, centrosome function and/or brain development. Here we show that mutations in the Mto1 CM1 region generate mutant proteins that are functionally null for cytoplasmic microtubule nucleation and interaction with the gamma-TuC (phenocopying mto1Delta), even though the Mto1-mutant proteins localize normally in cells and can bind Mto2. Interestingly, the CM1 region is not sufficient for efficient interaction with the gamma-TuC. Mutation within a different region of Mto1, outside CM1, abrogates Mto2 binding and also impairs cytoplasmic microtubule nucleation and Mto1 association with the gamma-TuC. However, this mutation allows limited microtubule nucleation in vivo, phenocopying mto2Delta rather than mto1Delta. Further experiments suggest that Mto1 and Mto2 form a complex (Mto1/2 complex) independent of the gamma-TuC and that Mto1 and Mto2 can each associate with the gamma-TuC in the absence of the other, albeit extremely weakly compared to when both Mto1 and Mto2 are present. We propose that Mto2 acts cooperatively with Mto1 to promote association of the Mto1/2 complex with the gamma-TuC.
Project description:The multisubunit ?-tubulin complex (?-TuC) is critical for microtubule nucleation in eukaryotic cells, but it remains unclear how the ?-TuC becomes active specifically at microtubule-organizing centers (MTOCs) and not more broadly throughout the cytoplasm. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the proteins Mto1 and Mto2 form the Mto1/2 complex, which interacts with the ?-TuC and recruits it to several different types of cytoplasmic MTOC sites. Here, we show that the Mto1/2 complex activates ?-TuC-dependent microtubule nucleation independently of localizing the ?-TuC. This was achieved through the construction of a "minimal" version of Mto1/2, Mto1/2[bonsai], that does not localize to any MTOC sites. By direct imaging of individual Mto1/2[bonsai] complexes nucleating single microtubules in vivo, we further determine the number and stoichiometry of Mto1, Mto2, and ?-TuC subunits Alp4 (GCP2) and Alp6 (GCP3) within active nucleation complexes. These results are consistent with active nucleation complexes containing ?13 copies each of Mto1 and Mto2 per active complex and likely equimolar amounts of ?-tubulin. Additional experiments suggest that Mto1/2 multimers act to multimerize the fission yeast ?-tubulin small complex and that multimerization of Mto2 in particular may underlie assembly of active microtubule nucleation complexes.
Project description:Microtubule (MT) nucleation depends on the ?-tubulin complex (?-TuC), in which multiple copies of the heterotetrameric ?-tubulin small complex (?-TuSC) associate to form a ring-like structure (in metazoans, ?-tubulin ring complex; ?-TuRC) [1-7]. Additional conserved regulators of the ?-TuC include the small protein Mzt1 (MOZART1 in human; GIP1/1B and GIP2/1A in plants) [8-13] and proteins containing a Centrosomin Motif 1 (CM1) domain [10, 14-19]. Many insights into ?-TuC regulators have come from in vivo analysis in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The S. pombe CM1 protein Mto1 recruits the ?-TuC to microtubule-organizing centers (MTOCs) [14, 20-22], and analysis of Mto1[bonsai], a truncated version of Mto1 that cannot localize to MTOCs, has shown that Mto1 also has a role in ?-TuC activation . S. pombe Mzt1 interacts with ?-TuSC and is essential for ?-TuC function and localization to MTOCs [11, 12]. However, the mechanisms by which Mzt1 functions remain unclear. Here we describe reconstitution of MT nucleation using purified recombinant Mto1[bonsai], the Mto1 partner protein Mto2, ?-TuSC, and Mzt1. Multiple copies of the six proteins involved coassemble to form a 34-40S ring-like "MGM" holocomplex that is a potent MT nucleator in vitro. Using purified MGM and subcomplexes, we investigate the role of Mzt1 in MT nucleation. Our results suggest that Mzt1 is critical to stabilize Alp6, the S. pombe homolog of human ?-TuSC protein GCP3, in an "interaction-competent" form within the ?-TuSC. This is essential for MGM to become a functional nucleator.
Project description:Microtubule nucleation is highly regulated during the eukaryotic cell cycle, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. During mitosis in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, cytoplasmic microtubule nucleation ceases simultaneously with intranuclear mitotic spindle assembly. Cytoplasmic nucleation depends on the Mto1/2 complex, which binds and activates the ?-tubulin complex and also recruits the ?-tubulin complex to both centrosomal (spindle pole body) and non-centrosomal sites. Here we show that the Mto1/2 complex disassembles during mitosis, coincident with hyperphosphorylation of Mto2 protein. By mapping and mutating multiple Mto2 phosphorylation sites, we generate mto2-phosphomutant strains with enhanced Mto1/2 complex stability, interaction with the ?-tubulin complex and microtubule nucleation activity. A mutant with 24 phosphorylation sites mutated to alanine, mto2[24A], retains interphase-like behaviour even in mitotic cells. This provides a molecular-level understanding of how phosphorylation 'switches off' microtubule nucleation complexes during the cell cycle and, more broadly, illuminates mechanisms regulating non-centrosomal microtubule nucleation.
Project description:Although the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe contains many of the ?-tubulin ring complex (?-TuRC)-specific proteins of the ?-tubulin complex (?-TuC), several questions about the organizational state and function of the fission yeast ?-TuC in vivo remain unresolved. Using 3×GFP-tagged ?-TuRC-specific proteins, we show here that ?-TuRC-specific proteins are present at all microtubule organizing centers in fission yeast and that association of ?-TuRC-specific proteins with the ?-tubulin small complex (?-TuSC) does not depend on Mto1, which is a key regulator of the ?-TuC. Through sensitive imaging in mto1? mutants, in which cytoplasmic microtubule nucleation is abolished, we unexpectedly found that ?-TuC incapable of nucleating microtubules can nevertheless associate with microtubule minus-ends in vivo. The presence of ?-TuC at microtubule ends is independent of ?-TuRC-specific proteins and strongly correlates with the stability of microtubule ends. Strikingly, microtubule bundles lacking ?-TuC at microtubule ends undergo extensive treadmilling in vivo, apparently induced by geometrical constraints on plus-end growth. Our results indicate that microtubule stabilization by the ?-TuC, independently of its nucleation function, is important for maintaining the organization and dynamic behavior of microtubule arrays in vivo.
Project description:Microtubule nucleation by the ?-tubulin complex occurs primarily at centrosomes, but more diverse types of microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs) also exist, especially in differentiated cells. Mechanisms generating MTOC diversity are poorly understood. Fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe has multiple types of cytoplasmic MTOCs, and these vary through the cell cycle. Cytoplasmic microtubule nucleation in fission yeast depends on a complex of proteins Mto1 and Mto2 (Mto1/2), which localizes to MTOCs and interacts with the ?-tubulin complex. Localization of Mto1 to prospective MTOC sites has been proposed as a key step in ?-tubulin complex recruitment and MTOC formation, but how Mto1 localizes to such sites has not been investigated. Here we identify a short conserved C-terminal sequence in Mto1, termed MASC, important for targeting Mto1 to multiple distinct MTOCs. Different subregions of MASC target Mto1 to different MTOCs, and multimerization of MASC is important for efficient targeting. Mto1 targeting to the cell equator during division depends on direct interaction with unconventional type II myosin Myp2. Targeting to the spindle pole body during mitosis depends on Sid4 and Cdc11, components of the septation initiation network (SIN), but not on other SIN components.
Project description:From an insertional mutagenesis screen, we isolated a novel gene, mto2+, involved in microtubule organization in fission yeast. mto2Delta strains are viable but exhibit defects in interphase microtubule nucleation and in formation of the postanaphase microtubule array at the end of mitosis. The mto2Delta defects represent a subset of the defects displayed by cells deleted for mto1+ (also known as mod20+ and mbo1+), a centrosomin-related protein required to recruit the gamma-tubulin complex to cytoplasmic microtubule-organizing centers (MTOCs). We show that mto2p colocalizes with mto1p at MTOCs throughout the cell cycle and that mto1p and mto2p coimmunoprecipitate from cytoplasmic extracts. In vitro studies suggest that mto2p binds directly to mto1p. In mto2Delta mutants, although some aspects of mto1p localization are perturbed, mto1p can still localize to spindle pole bodies and the cell division site and to "satellite" particles on interphase microtubules. In mto1Delta mutants, localization of mto2p to all of these MTOCs is strongly reduced or absent. We also find that in mto2Delta mutants, cytoplasmic forms of the gamma-tubulin complex are mislocalized, and the gamma-tubulin complex no longer coimmunoprecipitates with mto1p from cell extracts. These experiments establish mto2p as a major regulator of mto1p-mediated microtubule nucleation by the gamma-tubulin complex.
Project description:Non-centrosomal microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs) are important for microtubule organization in many cell types. In fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the protein Mto1, together with partner protein Mto2 (Mto1/2 complex), recruits the ?-tubulin complex to multiple non-centrosomal MTOCs, including the nuclear envelope (NE). Here, we develop a comparative-interactome mass spectrometry approach to determine how Mto1 localizes to the NE. Surprisingly, we find that Mto1, a constitutively cytoplasmic protein, docks at nuclear pore complexes (NPCs), via interaction with exportin Crm1 and cytoplasmic FG-nucleoporin Nup146. Although Mto1 is not a nuclear export cargo, it binds Crm1 via a nuclear export signal-like sequence, and docking requires both Ran in the GTP-bound state and Nup146 FG repeats. In addition to determining the mechanism of MTOC formation at the NE, our results reveal a novel role for Crm1 and the nuclear export machinery in the stable docking of a cytoplasmic protein complex at NPCs.
Project description:Relatively little is known about the in vivo function of individual components of the eukaryotic gamma-tubulin complex (gamma-TuC). We identified three genes, gfh1+, mod21+, and mod22+, in a screen for fission yeast mutants affecting microtubule organization. gfh1+ is a previously characterized gamma-TuC protein weakly similar to human gamma-TuC subunit GCP4, whereas mod21+ is novel and shows weak similarity to human gamma-TuC subunit GCP5. We show that mod21p is a bona fide gamma-TuC protein and that, like gfh1Delta mutants, mod21Delta mutants are viable. We find that gfh1Delta and mod21Delta mutants have qualitatively normal microtubule nucleation from all types of microtubule-organizing centers (MTOCs) in vivo but quantitatively reduced nucleation from interphase MTOCs, and this is exacerbated by mutations in mod22+. Simultaneous deletion of gfh1p, mod21p, and alp16p, a third nonessential gamma-TuC protein, does not lead to additive defects, suggesting that all three proteins contribute to a single function. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments suggest that gfh1p and alp16p are codependent for association with a small "core" gamma-TuC, whereas mod21p is more peripherally associated, and that gfh1p and mod21p may form a subcomplex independently of the small gamma-TuC. Interestingly, sucrose gradient analysis suggests that the major form of the gamma-TuC in fission yeast may be a small complex. We propose that gfh1p, mod21p, and alp16 act as facultative "noncore" components of the fission yeast gamma-TuC and enhance its microtubule-nucleating ability.
Project description:Microtubules of the mitotic spindle direct cytokinesis in metazoans but this has not been documented in fungi. We report evidence that microtubule nucleators at the spindle pole body help coordinate cytokinetic furrow formation in fission yeast. The temperature-sensitive <i>cps1-191</i> strain (Liu <i>et al.</i>, 1999) with a D277N substitution in β-glucan synthase 1 (Cps1/Bgs1) was reported to arrest with an unconstricted contractile ring. We discovered that contractile rings in <i>cps1-191</i> cells constrict slowly and that an <i>mto2<sup>S338N</sup></i> mutation is required with the <i>bgs1<sup>D277N</sup></i>mutation to reproduce the <i>cps1-191</i> phenotype. Complexes of Mto2 and Mto1 with γ-tubulin regulate microtubule assembly. Deletion of Mto1 along with the <i>bgs1<sup>D277N</sup></i> mutation also gives the <i>cps1-191</i> phenotype, which is not observed in <i>mto2<sup>S338N</sup></i> or <i>mto1Δ</i> cells expressing <i>bgs1</i><sup>+</sup>. Both <i>mto2<sup>S338N</sup></i> and <i>mto1Δ</i> cells nucleate fewer astral microtubules than normal and have higher levels of Rho1-GTP at the division site than wild-type cells. We report multiple conditions that sensitize <i>mto1Δ</i> and <i>mto2<sup>S338N</sup></i> cells to furrow ingression phenotypes.
Project description:During meiosis, telomeres cluster and promote homologous chromosome pairing. Telomere clustering requires the interaction of telomeres with the nuclear membrane proteins SUN (Sad1/UNC-84) and KASH (Klarsicht/ANC-1/Syne homology). The mechanism by which telomeres gather remains elusive. In this paper, we show that telomere clustering in fission yeast depends on microtubules and the microtubule motors, cytoplasmic dynein, and kinesins. Furthermore, the ?-tubulin complex (?-TuC) is recruited to SUN- and KASH-localized telomeres to form a novel microtubule-organizing center that we termed the "telocentrosome." Telocentrosome formation depends on the ?-TuC regulator Mto1 and on the KASH protein Kms1, and depletion of either Mto1 or Kms1 caused severe telomere clustering defects. In addition, the dynein light chain (DLC) contributes to telocentrosome formation, and simultaneous depletion of DLC and dynein also caused severe clustering defects. Thus, the telocentrosome is essential for telomere clustering. We propose that telomere-localized SUN and KASH induce telocentrosome formation and that subsequent microtubule motor-dependent aggregation of telocentrosomes via the telocentrosome-nucleated microtubules causes telomere clustering.